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LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks #3042420
05/15/22 01:31 AM
05/15/22 01:31 AM
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Granite Bay CA
Kern Dog Offline OP
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Yeah, I know....when these engines are built back to stock, everything fits and works as intended. Stamped steel valve covers, Iron intake, etc.
When we deviate from stock, things start to get messy.
Take for example, the popular cast aluminum valve covers that many of us like to use.
Holley, M/T, Mopar Performance and others.
Why is it that every one of them had the same exact problem? The gasket rail at the top hits the intake. You have to grind away part of the gasket rail to get enough clearance to allow the valve cover to sit down properly.
This is some piss poor quality control. What was the point of the intake runners having those nubs or runners hanging into the space occupied by the valve covers anyway?
I did a search here and found absolutely nothing about this.

Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: Kern Dog] #3042422
05/15/22 01:38 AM
05/15/22 01:38 AM
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Phila
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PhillyRag Offline
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Quote
This is some piss poor quality control.


Well then it's been that way for many years then. Had that problem with M/T's many many years ago.
1 fix was to use thicker gaskets.
Just part of working on these older cars.
Can't expect 0% problems, now can we?

Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: PhillyRag] #3042459
05/15/22 09:38 AM
05/15/22 09:38 AM
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rust belt
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Moparite Offline
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Quote
The gasket rail at the top hits the intake.

I have used the M/T covers on both small and big blocks(with aftermarket intakes) and don't recall having this issue. But then it was many years ago. I had more problems with the breathers.

Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: Moparite] #3042462
05/15/22 10:09 AM
05/15/22 10:09 AM
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San Jose,CA
migsBIG Offline
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Had the same problem wit Mopar Performance ones. Always leaked. To be honest, sometimes there can be other issues like intake clearances with aftermarket ones. Gaskets for those can be hit-n-miss to. When I put some one my next engine, I'll probably make my own cork gaskets and use some rtv and machine the lip on the covers so I won't have the same issues again.

Last edited by migsBIG; 05/20/22 09:32 PM.
Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: Kern Dog] #3042482
05/15/22 11:55 AM
05/15/22 11:55 AM
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Omaha Ne
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TJP Offline
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A departed good friend once said they should just make one set of instructions for ALL aftermarket parts.
1. Take off the old sh-t
2. Bolt on the new sh-it
3. Turn the key and go laugh2

Over the last 50 or so years I have found 4 exceptions that come to mind

1. Schumacher conversion mounts
2. Trim parts
3. RMS suspension
4. Legendary interiors

twocents beer

Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: TJP] #3042488
05/15/22 12:16 PM
05/15/22 12:16 PM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 15,957
north of coder
moparx Offline
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if everything fit and worked as one would expect it to, one would not learn "new words". biggrin
beer

Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: moparx] #3042499
05/15/22 01:05 PM
05/15/22 01:05 PM
Joined: Jan 2003
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So Near, Yet So Far
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^^^ Exactly ! How can I expand my range of profanity without hot-rodding something ? laugh2

The MP VC deal, their SB stroker pistons, etc ad nauseum were things I've posted or referenced here long ago.
Countless others of course have had similar experiences.
MP lost me as a customer somewhere around 2002.

Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: topside] #3042521
05/15/22 03:31 PM
05/15/22 03:31 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 6,293
Downtown Roebuck Ont
Twostick Offline
Still wishing...
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My machinist has a saying: "If it comes out of a box, it's fk'd up. If it wasn't, I wouldn't need all this expensive machinery to make it fit".

Kevin

Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: Twostick] #3042541
05/15/22 04:25 PM
05/15/22 04:25 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 10,273
Rittman Ohio
fourgearsavoy Offline
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Funny part is I have Indy heads, aftermarket cast valve covers, aftermarket intake and they all play nice together with Superformance gaskets shruggy

Gus beer


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Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: fourgearsavoy] #3042557
05/15/22 05:06 PM
05/15/22 05:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 17,983
Granite Bay CA
Kern Dog Offline OP
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I know that it is a small issue in the grand scheme of things.
It just seems like a strange thing to have a problem with. There are things where if everyone was doing their job, the conflicts wouldn't exist.
I could see if the heads were extensively milled, the valve cover gasket rail is lower and closer to the intake. I've seen this problem on old, unrebuilt engines. Even small port 273 and 318 intakes extend into the gasket surface. Why???

Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: Kern Dog] #3042565
05/15/22 05:46 PM
05/15/22 05:46 PM
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nowhere
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Sniper Online content
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Originally Posted by Kern Dog
I know that it is a small issue in the grand scheme of things.
It just seems like a strange thing to have a problem with. There are things where if everyone was doing their job, the conflicts wouldn't exist.
I could see if the heads were extensively milled, the valve cover gasket rail is lower and closer to the intake. I've seen this problem on old, unrebuilt engines. Even small port 273 and 318 intakes extend into the gasket surface. Why???


Because the factory didn't care about this as it was a non-issue for them and the aftermarket doesn't care because it's a YP not an MP (Your Problem, not My Problem).

Probably one factory casting these things, just change the name on top as needed, and they do not care.

Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: Sniper] #3042590
05/15/22 07:25 PM
05/15/22 07:25 PM
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in a cattle trailer down by th...
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Guitar Jones Offline
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Several decades ago when I was building one of my small block W5 race headed engines, I bought an MP 90° oil filter adapter. I pulled it out of the box at the parts counter and studied it for 5 minutes. The parts manager finally asked me what I was looking for. I told him I'm trying to determine what I will have to grind, file, machine or otherwise modify in order to get it to fit and work. laugh2


I raise chickens, so I am literally a chicken tender.

The Scamp is sold, now just two old trucks and one new one.
'92 D250 Club Cab CTD, 47RH conversion, pump tweaks, injectors, rear disc and hydroboost conversion.
'74 W200 Crew Cab 360, NV4500, D44, D60 and NP205 divorced transfer case.
2019 1500 Long Horn Crew Cab 4WD, 5.7 Hemi.
Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: TJP] #3042599
05/15/22 08:06 PM
05/15/22 08:06 PM
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Freeport IL USA
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poorboy Offline
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Originally Posted by TJP
A departed good friend once said they should just make one set of instructions for ALL aftermarket parts.
1. Take off the old sh-t
2. Bolt on the new sh-it
3. Turn the key and go laugh2

Over the last 50 or so years I have found 4 exceptions that come to mind

1. Schumacher conversion mounts
2. Trim parts
3. RMS suspension
4. Legendary interiors

twocents beer


I think my old buddy was probably a lot more accurate with his thoughts on almost every aftermarket parts. His went like this:
1) Take the old stuff off, save it, you might have to put it back on.
2) Test fit and modify the new stuff to fit like it was suppose to fit.
3) After modification, bolt it on, and hope it works.
4) Clean the mess up. Go drive it. Then keep the mess cleaned up.
5) If it doesn't work, you can put the old stuff back on, and sell the fancy junk at a swap meet!

Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: poorboy] #3042634
05/15/22 10:29 PM
05/15/22 10:29 PM
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Omaha Ne
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TJP Offline
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Originally Posted by poorboy
Originally Posted by TJP
A departed good friend once said they should just make one set of instructions for ALL aftermarket parts.
1. Take off the old sh-t
2. Bolt on the new sh-it
3. Turn the key and go laugh2

Over the last 50 or so years I have found 4 exceptions that come to mind

1. Schumacher conversion mounts
2. Trim parts
3. RMS suspension
4. Legendary interiors

twocents beer


I think my old buddy was probably a lot more accurate with his thoughts on almost every aftermarket parts. His went like this:
1) Take the old stuff off, save it, you might have to put it back on.
2) Test fit and modify the new stuff to fit like it was suppose to fit.
3) After modification, bolt it on, and hope it works.
4) Clean the mess up. Go drive it. Then keep the mess cleaned up.
5) If it doesn't work, you can put the old stuff back on, and sell the fancy junk at a swap meet!


#1 wasn't gonna happen especially with a case of Bud light
#2 Test fit, Now we're rocking, get me another Beer
#3 Get me another beer
#4 After 6 beers modifications looking good, Get me another beer
#5 Bolt it on and admire your CRAFTMANSHIP AND INGENUITY while having another beer
#6 Send the wife for more beer
#7 If it doesn't work right, have another beer and force it
#8 Have 2 more beers while digging through the trash and empty beer cans looking for the original.
#9 HMM Looks better now, have another beer and throw the original in the swap meet pile.
#10 have more beers while cleaning up the carnage
#11 next morning wonder who screwed your car up
BTW I've been dry for 5 years pity beer

Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: TJP] #3042660
05/15/22 11:44 PM
05/15/22 11:44 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 1,538
South Bend
John Brown Offline
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Might be ancient history, but in the late 80's Micky Thompson and Holley valve covers were both manufactured by Winters Casting Foundry in Canton Ohio. Probably come floating in on a boat from China by now. Winters made a lot of other castings, not just automotive items. Heard they also made castings for washing machines too.


July 19th should be "Drive Like Rockford Day". R.I.P. Jimmie.
Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: John Brown] #3042703
05/16/22 08:22 AM
05/16/22 08:22 AM
Joined: Nov 2003
Posts: 12,216
Western Colorado High Desert
moparmarks Offline
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Depends on the manifold too. Some hit the covers and some don't.


72 Satellite Sebring Plus 440, 72 Dart 5.9 4-spd, 68 Valiant, 73 W200, 78 D100 sb, 78 D200, 98 DAKOTA, .
Moparmarks Parts & Restorations
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970-261-7039
http://moparmark.com/
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Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: moparmarks] #3042975
05/17/22 08:43 AM
05/17/22 08:43 AM
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God's Country Maryland
GODSCOUNTRY340 Offline
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Seems to me the aftermarket used a 318 engine to mock up their tooling, since there were a lot more 318's than340's. The smaller 318 runners didn't hit the valve covers where the bigger 340 runners would. Almost every aftermarket valve cover bolted onto a 340 needs the lip on the cover ground down.


I love the smell of Deer guts in the morning, it smells like... VICTORY!
Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: GODSCOUNTRY340] #3042980
05/17/22 09:07 AM
05/17/22 09:07 AM
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nowhere
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Sniper Online content
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Originally Posted by GODSCOUNTRY340
Seems to me the aftermarket used a 318 engine to mock up their tooling, since there were a lot more 318's than340's. The smaller 318 runners didn't hit the valve covers where the bigger 340 runners would. Almost every aftermarket valve cover bolted onto a 340 needs the lip on the cover ground down.


I'd buy that theory if the same issue didn't apply to the B/RB covers as well. Cracked a brand new set of MP cast valve covers tightening them down on a 413 back int he 80's. That's how I learned about it.

Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: Sniper] #3042997
05/17/22 09:54 AM
05/17/22 09:54 AM
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Florida
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scratchnfotraction Offline
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gasket got thinner over the yrs is my opinion. less cork = more $

fel-pro high performance gaskets or superformance gasket are the best I have used on a regular basis.

when I double up cheap paper intake gaskets they seal and don't suck oil on bottom of the intake runner.

when I run my M/T VC I use the thickest high performance cork gasket - felpro 3/8" thick- I use the Indianhead gasket shellac to glue gasket to VC on the bench to get it perfect flat alinement on VC.

add a very thin coat of Permatex copper silly cone on head side of VC gasket or spray with copper spray gasket tack install and finger tight the bolts-let sit over night and then snug them 3/4 turn with a 1/4" ratchet/socket by hand.

they never leak.

do my stock tins same way.

in my opinion the VC bolts are always way over torqued and crush gasket surface. but when glued/sealed/cured and lightly torqued down the stay leak free a long time. don't forget to hammer the tins around the holes and make sure rails are still flat.

use cork and don't crush the gasket surface, shellac is a [censored] to clean but seals well for a very long time. I use it in most leaky gasket problems like VC- oil pans-t stats ect.

Re: LA series cast aluminum valve cover leaks [Re: scratchnfotraction] #3043250
05/18/22 09:40 AM
05/18/22 09:40 AM
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Ahhhh….. that first set of aftermarket heads I bought! Raised wide flat valve cover rail! At last!!! No more leaks!! …..to bad the distributer wouldn’t fit! laugh2 RB Stage VI survivor

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